Ferit Karslıoğlu was born in 1944, Ankara. After graduating from the Mechanical Engineering Department of METU in 1969, he started his business career with the Mineral Research and Exploration Institute of Turkey (MTA). He was responsible for the maintenance and supply of the drilling machines for oil and mineral exploration. As a successful engineer, he was offered an overseas assignment in the United States to improve his technical competence. After his returning home, he was appointed as the Director of the Machine Supply Department at the MTA. He joined the army in 1972 and having completed the military service, started working for Chrysler's plant in Istanbul, where he promoted to the Production Manager position within a short time. Following this position, he transferred to the Bayraktarlar Group as the founding general manager of the Farba Plant in Bursa, his residing city henceforth. He was highly motivated and engaged in every important detail, from the purchase of the factory land to the production process during this assignment. He was retired in 1987.
As a successful professional, who had already made his own living and provided his children a good education, Karslıoglu chose being an entrepreneur rather than enjoying his retirement. His biggest assets were his personal knowledge, experience and reputation in the industry as he had become a renowned personality managing the Farba Company, the supplier of headlights and lighting for cars. His two sons were the rest of his capital that he could rely on. Timur was graduated from the Business Administration Department of Istanbul University and Taner from the Mechanical Engineering department of ITU. Altogether, they decided to establish their own business instead of working for others and purchased two second-hand plastic injection machines by the end of 1987. The production started in Bursa, Geçit-Haskoy region in a 100m2 area of a building owned by an acquaintance. Karslıoğlu founded the company Feka Automotive, the name of which included the first letters of his name and surname in 1988. He had only 5 employees at the beginning.
Feka Automotive became an incorporated company on July 26, 1990. After manufacturing in rental workplaces for a certain period of time, the company attained its own workplace with 4500 square meters of indoor area located on a land of 2,500 square meters at Bursa Organized Industrial Zone in 1994. Henceforth, Feka Automotive has become a renowned SME with designing capability at its own modern plant thanks to its disciplined and successful operations. During the economic crisis of early 2000s when almost every company decided to shrink, Feka Automotive made a move forward, purchasing its neighboring land with Halkbank’s support. The land area reached up to 5000 square meters and even 10.000 square meters with the construction of the indoor expansion area. Thereafter, Feka Automotive was deemed as a medium-sized company.
Receiving orders from world-renowned OEMs such as Fiat, Renault, PSA, GM and Toyota in the early 2000s, the Turkish company Feka Automotive started exporting small courtesy lamps for the production lines of world-renowned OEMs.
As of 2011, Feka Automotive penetrated into the market of global giant players as a “full service supplier”, introducing integrated process management at every production stage from component design, development and production of molds and production lines to mass production. In the same year, Feka Automotive thrived and opened its second factory in NOSAB, after signing an agreement with Magnetti Marelli Mako for the production of subcomponents for headlights and taillights.
In May 2012, Feka Automotive received “R&D Center” approval from the Ministry of Science and Technology, which has paved the way for the development of cutting edge technologies.
In June 2014, the two factories were united under one roof reaching up to 15.000 square meters of indoor area in total. This has been a critical step for an “Anatolian Tiger” towards reaching the size of a global company.
Ferit Karslioglu addresses the young entrepreneurs as follows:
“Knowledge, R&D, and eagerness to work hard. There has been no holding company or capital backing us. You hold the greatest power. We made it and there is no reason for you to fail. All you need to do is to keep your heads up and trust yourselves”.